英会話のコツ: Commonly Confused Pairs

The following pairs of words are often confusing and misused.  If you don't be careful you could be saying something totally different than what you wanted to say.

 

- Immanent

Here we have three words that are confusing. 

Imminent means that something is destined to happen. 

  • "It is imminent that the sun will rise tomorrow."

Eminent can refer to someone of high rank or reputation, or something that pokes out

  • "The eminent Prime Minister Abe is traveling to Russia."  
  • "That man has an eminent nose."

Immanent is something that is inherent or inborn.

  • "People born in Hawaii have an immanent ability to swim." ( for example )

 

- Wreathe

Wreath is a circular band of flowers or leaves that can be worn on the head or put on a door.

  • "I need to buy a wreath for the front door." ( picture Christmas or Julius Ceasar )

To wreathe is to put a wreath on something or to encircle something like a wreath does.

  • "Can you wreathe the front door with this wreath that I bought, please?"

 

-Feint

Faint means to lose consciousness suddenly and usually fall to the ground if standing.

  • "I almost fainted when I saw my electricity bill this summer!"

Or, it can mean a lack of brightness or something that is weak

  • "I could still smell a faint odor of natto even though I had thrown out the garbage."

Feint originated as a fencing term and it means to make a false attack in order to distract the opponent from a more fatal blow, or a deceptive look or act

  • "He feinted with his left and followed up with a right uppercut."
  • "I used to feint being sick so I didn't have to go to school."

 

- Stationery

Stationery is paper, writing instruments and things like that that are used for writing, but if you change the "e" to an "a" it become Stationary which means at rest or not moving.

  • "I need to buy some stationery for the office tomorrow."
  • "I ride a stationary bike at the gym to keep in shape."

 

- Capitol

Capital has many uses like capital city and capital letter, which means the best or brightest of something but if you change the last "a" into an "o" it becomes something very specific which is the Capitol, the building used by the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C.

  • "Honolulu is the capital city of Hawaii."
  • "I visited the Capitol on a trip to Washington D.C."

- Scott